Published : 2013-08-26 11:18
Updated : 2013-08-26 11:18
The average annual income of bankers in South Korea reached 120 million won (US$107,768) last year, with a few banks raising their salaries by a double-digit figure over a few-year period, data showed Monday.
The 2012 annual income of full-time employees at 11 banks rose at an average rate of 11.5 percent last year, from 83 million won in 2010, according to the data by the Financial Consumer Agency, a local advocate group.
Hana Bank raised the pay of its workers by a whopping 57.46 percent between 2011 and 2012, followed by Citi Bank Korea with a 36.04 percent on-year increase and a 24.69 percent rise for Woori Bank.
But the sharp increase in their annual income has become a dilemma for banks since the industry suffered a slowdown in their profits due to the economic downturn and the central banks' easing cycle.
South Korean banks posted a combined 1.1 trillion won in net profit in the second quarter of this year, down 48 percent from a year earlier.
Regulatory authorities have stepped up to induce lenders to take self-regulatory measures such as a voluntary cut in annual income.
"Although it's not a matter in which we can intervene, we're trying to best advise an appropriate threshold of the salary system," a regulatory official said.
Cho Nam-hee, the head of the Financial Consumer Agency, called on regulators to launch an investigation into banks' wage systems unless banks come up with reasonable grounds for the raise. (Yonhap News)